VIRGINIA CITY – The Madison County Commissioners accepted a petition for a resolution to form a livestock protective committee during their regular meeting Tuesday.
The clerk and recorder’s office will validate signatures on the petition this week before commissioners take action on the resolution at next week’s meeting.
The resolution requires the support of at least 51 percent of livestock owners with at least 55 percent of the livestock in Madison County for both cattle and sheep. The protective committee will consist of three residents of the county engaged in the business of raising cattle and/or sheep, with a term of two years for two committee members and one year for the third member.
The committee will advise, assist and cooperate with the Montana Department of Livestock, county commissioners, the sheriff and all other public officials or police officers with duties pertaining to hide and brand inspection, apprehension and prevention livestock rustlers, enforcement of laws governing the movement and sale of livestock and other matters of interest and value to Madison Counties livestock industry, according to Montana law governing the operation of the committee.
The committee may also recommend to county commissioners a fee of no more than 50 cents per head on all cattle older than nine months as of Jan. 1 of the tax year. The funds collected and deposited by the county treasurer will be known as the livestock special deputy fund.
The key phrase in the resolution is “other matters which are of interest and value to the livestock industry in the county” because it allows the committee to take a proactive approach to the issue of managing livestock predators in the county, said Madison County Commissioner Dave Schulz.
Once signatures on the petition are verified, the commissioners will take action on the resolution at their regular Jan. 24 meeting. A meeting is also scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Alder Fire Hall to discuss and explain the purpose of the committee with members of the local livestock community and to make nominations for the committee.